Above Ground Gas Pool Heaters

Gas pool heaters have been mainstream since the 70's, but only recently have major heater manufacturers begun to focus greater attention on above ground gas pool heaters.

Technological improvements in heater design and efficiency has produced smaller gas pool heaters, sized and priced for the above ground pool market.

If your aboveground pool is cold, or doesn't warm up until mid-July, an LPG or Natural Gas pool heater could be the answer. Here's 3 above ground pool heaters that fit the bill perfectly.


The Hayward H-Series A/G features an electronic, direct spark ignition system and an energy-efficient FireTile® lined combustion chamber. Hayward H-100 above ground heaters provide 100,000 BTU input, with 81% thermal efficiency. An integral induced draft system makes this heater completely impervious to high winds and rain. A one-piece copper header/heat exchanger provides for leak-free performance. And a simple plug-in 120-volt electric cord is provided for simple installation, or can be wired 220V. Suitable for pools up to 14,000 gallons, and available in LPG or Natural Gas.



The Pentair MasterTemp 125 draws on the long lineage of the Purex Minimax heaters and features the first ever rotating, digital display offered in its class. 125K BTU heat, with valuable information conveniently and at the touch of a button. A lightweight, compact design makes the MasterTemp 125 natural gas heater easier to install, or relocate. Weighs only 80 lbs, and measures 32"x21"x23". Plug in the heater to any grounded outlet, or wire it with 230V. Suitable for pools up to 17,500 gallons and available in Natural gas or Propane gas models.


The Raypak 156A heaters feature a user-friendly microprocessor-controlled thermostat for temperature setting, self-diagnostic troubleshooting, a spark ignition system, easily accessible self-adjusting stainless steel burner tray, corrosion-resistant copper heat exchanger with polymer headers, and a built-in bypass valve that automatically adjusts the flow rate. Raypak PR156A 150K BTU Propane Gas Heater comes with a standard 3-prong power cord that operates on a 120V outlet but can be easily converted to 220V. Suitable for above ground pools up to 20,000 gallons and available in LPG or Natural Gas.


  1. HEATER PLACEMENT: Gas pool heaters need to be mounted on a raised durable surface that is non-combustible. You can pour a concrete slab, or build up the ground with tamped gravel and place a large paver stone, level for mounting the heater. Gas heaters can not be installed indoors, or in any type of equipment shed, unless they are properly and professionally vented for safety.
  2. WIRING THE HEATER: Gas pool heaters need to have a power supply, to operate the digital display and electronic ignition and safety circuits. These heaters come with a 3-prong grounded plug so wiring is easy. If you don't have a plug, you can wire it directly into the pump switch or timer, or into a breaker panel.
  3. PLUMBING THE HEATER: Gas pool heaters are connected into the return line, after the filter, to cycle the pool water through the heat exchanger. You'll need a few PVC fittings and some PVC pipe, glue and primer, to make the connection. Cut the return pipe after the filter, and use 90 fittings to run water in and out of the heater.
  4. GASSING THE HEATER: This step is for the professionals, to make a gas connection from the natural gas meter, to the pool heater. Cost is proportional to how far of a distance it is from the meter to the heater. For propane heaters, your local propane company will come and set up a 120 gal. LPG tank, and make the connection to the heater, and test fire the unit, for which they usually have a small fee. The LPG truck comes around regularly to refill the tank, and they bill you monthly.

COST TO BUY A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS - Aboveground pool heaters as shown above, a range of $900 to $1300 will cover all common sizes of aboveground pools. There are larger pool heaters, but the price quickly jumps to $2000+ for 250K-400K BTU pool heaters. The advantage of a larger pool heater is two-fold, they heat faster and can add more heat, more than 30° F, than smaller heaters.

COST TO INSTALL A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS - Assuming that you do most of the work, and place, plumb and power the heater, the cost for the gas connection can vary from a few hundred dollars, to over $1000, if the heater is a good distance from the gas meter. Propane companies may not charge for tank set-up, or they charge a few hundred to deliver, install and connect to your heater.

COST TO OPERATE A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS -  That depends, on how warm you keep the water, and how cold the air is - and whether or not you use a solar cover or solar blanket to reduce heat loss, especially at night. For most aboveground pools, the average gas expense is around $60 per month, if you use a solar cover regularly. No solar cover, or during colder months in spring and fall, and the cost could be $100 per month or more, especially for larger aboveground pools.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.